The toughest struggle that I see in leaders today is failure to delegate. Everyone is working different hours in different time zones and locations. It takes effort and time to delegate. You have to trust the person you are delegating to. Yes, you know you can do it faster if you do it yourself. Yes, you know it will be done the way you want it done when you do it yourself. And yes, you are still responsible for it being done even when you delegate it to someone else to finish. There is nothing more important for a leader than to teach others how to think through a task then get out of their way and allow them to do it their way with no micro managing.
There are several signs that you might not be delegating enough. Look for them and challenge yourself to take action on at least one of them daily!
- If you are working long hours, chances are you are spending too much of your day on tasks that are not of strategic importance so you have to put in the extra hours to not only do your tasks but to also work on vision.
- If you thought to yourself more than once whether you should be doing this, start to think about others who have the skills to complete the task. You think you could do it faster than you can teach someone else to do it but forget that you have to keep doing this over and over and over again if you don’t teach someone else. You also forgot how good it is for others to be provided the opportunity to learn new tasks for their own professional growth.
- If your to-do list is never ending it is probably because you have allowed yourself to be stretched too thin to get everything done.
The key to work-life balance and being an effective leader is being able to teach, delegate, and guide others to achieve their potential. You are not handing out tasks – You are handing out responsibility.
So who has time to delegate? The answer should be YOU!!
Written by Amy Wrightsel, Chief Operating Officer